I’ve got a few posts up about blog fiction and on Neil’s site, and I wanted to follow up with a bit more explanation about what I’m doing. If you’re interested in character blogs or what fiction on the internet might become, check out NeilRorke.com. If you’re interested in how I’m approaching that site from a craft perspective, take a look here..
Neil Rorke is the main character in a novel I wrote, which I hope to publish in e-book and POD versions fairly soon. As such, presenting him in a character blog fits what I think is the evolving definition of transmedia: exploring different facets of a single storyworld through various (if not also appropriate) mediums. But it’s also the case that Neil himself fits the description of someone who would blog, and I think that’s critical. The overarching goal is for both works to explain more about Neil, and to work together to fill out his character.
The intent with Electric Fiction is to explore and document the move away from simply presenting traditional fiction for consumption on the web. A movie may be fiction, but it’s hand-crafted fiction that uses techniques specific to film. Most of the online fiction I’ve seen could also be a book, or a story in a magazine. Yes, they’re all text, but to omit the connectivity and pacing and structure of blogs or comments in internet fiction seems to me a mistake — in part because reading long works on a computer screen is difficult. (I’m not denying the utility of using the internet as a pipeline to deliver fiction to dedicated e-readers. I’m doing the same thing, and plan to do more.)
As I continue to grow Neil’s site I’ll comment on the craft problems I encounter. I’m conscious of the fact that talking about Neil’s site blows the fourth wall to smithereens, but I don’t see any way around that. My hope is that Neil’s site will be enjoyed by readers, while comments about Electric Fiction here will be of interest to writers.
— Mark Barrett